Tips to help you prepare for your maternity session
Congratulations on your pregnancy! I know you may have many things on your to-do list as you prepare for your little one to arrive. Getting professional maternity photos done may not be at the top of the list, but these sessions are a great reminder of the beauty of motherhood and great for documenting your pregnancy journey. You deserve to celebrate this time in your life and enjoy this moment of creating a new life.
I have put together a few tips to help you prepare for your maternity session.
When should you schedule your maternity session?
When to schedule your maternity session really depends on mom. Every pregnancy and journey is unique, so consider how you are feeling, your due date and your health. I definitely suggest planning ahead. Many photographers book months in advance and if you know a photographer that you would love to work with, I suggest to book as early as you can to make sure they are available. I recommend scheduling your maternity session around 28-36 weeks (third trimester). At this point, your bump will be showing and you will still be able to move around and pose comfortably.
How to choose a photographer for your maternity photos?
Choosing a photographer is definitely a personal decision. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a maternity photographer:
- What is the photographer's style? Many photographers have different styles, so you want to see which style you love. I recommend viewing their portfolio on their website and their social media to see if they produce the type of images that you love.
- What are their clients saying? Read their reviews. You can often find photographer reviews on their website, Google, Facebook or you can even request them. It is important that you trust your photographer and you feel comfortable working with them.
- Follow your photographer on social media! Many times, photographers will post about their personal life, behind the scenes, and more on their social media. Do you like their personality? Do you see yourself working with them? These are questions to consider when choosing a photographer.
What is your vision for your maternity session?
Create a Pinterest or Inspiration Board for your vision for your session. Go through Pinterest or Google and save images that you love. Think about specific images that you want (or don't want). Make sure you share your vision with your photographer. At Nicole J Davis Photography, I work with my clients to help your vision come to life!
What should you wear for your maternity photos?
Deciding on what to wear for any session can be stressful. I offer my clients a Style Guide and Styling assistance to help choose the best look for their maternity session. Here are a few things to consider when deciding what to wear:
- Consider the season and your location
- If you are planning a maternity session with dad or kids, I recommend dressing mom first, then coordinating everyone else's outfit around moms.
- Go for the dress! I recommend choosing a dress that will flatter your bump. Maxi dresses are great for maternity photos. They are flowy, which allows for movement, which is something I love to incorporate in sessions.
- Add texture, layers and accessories.
- Consider bringing another outfit that is completely different that your first look.
Where to shop for your maternity dress?
If you book with Nicole J Davis Photography, you will get access to Style & Select, which is an interactive styling site that will coordinate your outfits for your session.
However, here are some of my favorite places to shop for dresses for your maternity session.
- Baltic Born
- Knotted Fern
- Free People
- Pink Blush
- Shop Morning Lavender
- Shop Maxwell
- Vici Collection
- A Pea in a Pod Maternity
- Amazon (see photos below of some of my favorite dresses from Amazon for maternity sessions)
How to choose a location for your maternity session?
This depends on your vision for your session. Do you want an urban look, nature (field, tall trees, lakeside), in-home or in a studio? I offer recommendations for outdoor and studio locations. When deciding on a location, I consider the light, variety and your vision.
How to pose for your maternity session?
Don't worry, mom. As a photographer, I will guide you on what to do with your hands, how to stand, and where to look. Just remember, you are beautiful and I will guide you into poses that are flattering to you and highlight that beautiful bump. I often have mom's hands frame their bump and bend one leg (the one that's closest to the camera), and turn at an angle. Sometimes, I will have mom looking down at her belly or at dad to create a sense of connection. If your family will be apart of your session, expect to interact with them. Also, there will be movement! I may ask you to tuck your hair behind your ear, grab your dress or skirt, bend your arm or leg, interact, walk and turn. And finally, I will capture different angles and definitely close-ups of your bump.
What to bring to your maternity session?
- Consider anything special you want to include in your session. It can be your sonogram picture, a family heirloom, baby shoes, blanket, or anything sentimental and meaningful to you. This helps add a personal touch to your images.
- Don't forget to bring your extra outfit, if you plan on changing into another look for your session.
- Bring a light snack and a water bottle.
Enjoy the moment!
- Pamper yourself and go pro! Get your nails, hair, etc. done professionally. Use this time to go all out and do something for yourself before baby arrives.
- Get plenty of rest the night before, so you'll feel refreshed the day of your session.
- Eat and stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before your session. This not only will help you have enough energy during your session, it also helps your skin look refreshed.
- Have fun and plan something special after your session, like a nice dinner.
- Don't stress! Relax and soak up this journey.
Your photographer will capture your love, joy and connection of you and your baby-to-be.